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Aug 29, 2012 12:50 PM

Reasonable Prices for a Diverse Crowd?

I'm having my last dinner in MSP (shedding a tear) with my parents and three of my closest friends - so six of us in all. One friend J is very meat-'n'-taters, another A is vegetarian, and my parents will have travelers' stomachs meaning less spice/oil and low noise if at all possible.

Just to make things fun, we also have a budget of around $15/plate, but given that it's my last night here I'd love as much atmosphere as I can get for the buck.

Sample Room and Bar la Grassa are two places I love but don't think my padres can quite afford for 6 people, and Sen Yai Sen Lek would be perfect if it wouldn't upset their stomachs (which it is likely to).

Location doesn't matter too much, but within Minneapolis (and maybe St. Paul) would be great.

Thanks for playing along and let me know if you can scrape up any suggestions!

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  1. $90 total bill is the rough budget? Am I reading this right?

    2 Replies
      1. re: khoops

        Well, drinks could easily blow that out of the water.

        Brasa is a good option, though I've never been. I know they have a dedicated veg menu (I'm veg myself). Bar La Grassa could be doable if you're in a sharing mode. Scusi could work for that matter. Blackbird Cafe might fit the bill as well.

        My suggestion would be for the youngin's to offer to go halfsies with the parents which would open up more options. Unless that is who is buying drinks.

    1. How about Brasa? I think it could fit your budget, it's veggie friendly, it's pretty meat+starch menu-wise. Because you could order family style you could probably keep the cost down. I don't know about the noise level, though. The other place I was going to recommend is maybe Cheeky Monkey in St. Paul. Maybe that atmosphere would be a little more hip for you?

      P.S. I hope you're going some place with good chow?


      3 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        If the noise level is an issue, I wouldn't recommend Brasa - it's pretty loud and chaotic, and tables are close together. I wonder if you might want to try India House on Grand Avenue - yes, it's spicy, since it's Indian, but plenty of dishes there are mild, or can be made that way - biryani, chicken tikka, etc. It's nice and quiet, and roughly $15 a plate.

        1. re: gildeddawn

          You might be right about Brasa-St. Paul. One of the reasons we like it (in addition to the wonderful food) is because it's kid-friendly, which means that it might be too noisy. Is the Mpls location similar noise-wise?

          I had some pretty dismal food at India House once about a year-and-a-half ago. I only gave it once chance, though. I fear it's not going to satisfy the meat and potatoes/traveler's tummy requirement.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Oh, yeah. I forgot the meat and potatoes requirement. Darn.

            I've had good luck with India House, but they can, admittedly, be a bit spotty - some dishes are to be avoided. The service is also less than stellar.

      2. Black Sheep Pizza has some nice-looking space (both locations). Sharing pizzas would keep the cost down, you could have beer or wine, and you'd easily accommodate carnivores and vegetarians.

        1. I've been trying to think creatively for you... Can six be seated comfortably in the bar at WA Frost?

          If I thought you could fit six in the lounge at La Belle Vie, I'd recommend that, but I don't think you could:

          I'm sure 6 could be seated comfortably in the bar at Heartland but I think the prices might be just a buck or two out of reach: But the menu changes nightly, so maybe watch the prices for a couple of days and see what you think?

          You could almost do dinner at Colossal Cafe, but there are two entrees that would really blow the budget, I think: